Liam Riley

Teach Enrich Empower

Avoiding mayhem in Wujiang

Ni hao! I’m Liam, from Liverpool. I moved over to China the day after my 26th birthday and have been here for just over a month now.

I’ve dreamt of venturing to China from a young age, so after finishing my degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester I decided getting involved with The TEFL Academy course was the next best step.

As I was working full time, the TEFL course offered by The TEFL Academy suited me perfectly. Having the intensive weekend classroom segment, followed by an online course meant you can take it at your own pace and I was able to fit the course around my other commitments. After leaving the weekend part of the training, I remember being pleasantly surprised by how much the instructor managed to cover. Those two days were hugely informative for someone who has never stepped in front of a classroom before.

I’m currently teaching at the amazing Jenny’s Palace English Training Centre in Wujiang, Jiangsu Province. We teach all ages from 3 to 14 years old. I heard a few nightmare stories of classroom sizes before I departed for China, however I have been blessed with only having a maximum of twelve students at any one time.

“Those two days were hugely informative.”

The TEFL Academy taught me priceless techniques on classroom management, where otherwise I would have been tearing my hair out. For the most part I’ve been able to avoid every first EFL teacher’s worst nightmare (a classroom of children, screaming in a language you don’t understand, rapidly slipping into chaos) by applying the methods covered on the TEFL course.

Another vital point the course we went into detail about which keeps the students from entertaining the idea of mayhem, was how to make activities fun and interesting, especially with younger students. If they are fully engaged with a task then there is no opportunity for them to look for mischief and they will be more likely to learn more effectively if they are actually enjoying the lesson.

If you have any reason to want to get away and experience a different culture, no matter how small the reason, I would say – do it! The world is too big not to. The TEFL Academy is such a great way to get out there. You learn just as much about yourself as you do about teaching.

Getting to grips with another language was one of the main reasons I came out to China. However, sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try there will always be fundamental obstacles in your path. The first time I attempted to order a whole meal in Mandarin, I became somewhat stuck when I tried to tell the waiter I wanted chicken and sweetcorn soup and noticed the English translation underneath was iPod Charger. I still haven’t figured that one out.

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